We are on the downward slope of 2022 to Christmas. How is that even possible? Well, up at the North Pole it’s always Christmas and we are always working hard all year to prepare for Santa’s big night! If we haven’t met yet, I’m Sparkle, Twinkle Night’s resident light-hanging Elf expert. My friends at Twinkle Nights asked me to share some of the biggest Christmas events around the globe with you since I know all the best places of course. So, whether you hop on a plane to visit in person or just visit through a video online, here are 5 of the top Christmas events in the world!
The United Kingdom
Our first stop is the Winter Wonderland festival in Hyde Park in London. This event runs from November to January and is full of fun activities. Skate on the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink, take in an acrobatic circus show, visit the Magical Ice Kingdom, or create your very own ice sculpture. Families with young children should be sure to stop by Santa’s Grotto and the fairgrounds to check out all the exciting rides and children’s activities.
Stop at the Christmas Market and cross names off your gift list with the selection of unique gifts and trinkets. And don’t miss the food! Visit the Bavarian Village, Bar Ice, or Thor’s Tipi for the best in holiday fare. Last, take a break and view the festival from way above via the Giant Observation wheel.
Strasbourg, France has been home to the world’s oldest Christmas market for 4 centuries. That’s a long time! In fact, it’s even known as the Capital of Christmas. Stroll through the city center as you visit over 300 chalets, decked out for the season and offering original gifts, trinkets, and treats. Learn about this region’s illustrious history that dates back to 1570 by visiting various locations around the city.
After dark, revel in the glow of thousands of twinkling Christmas lights, donning the giant (30m!) fir tree at Place Kléber and all over the square and city.
Next, we are going to visit the Christmas Fair in Budapest, Hungary. Located on Vörösmarty Square, it is not the only Christmas market in Budapest but certainly the oldest, biggest, and most spectacular. Visiting this market is a feast for your senses as you’ll be delighted by the sights, sounds, and visual displays. This market is not over the top, rather it is more subdued, lending itself to a nostalgic and yesteryear sort of feel. From wooden market stalls selling handmade gifts to choirs performing on the concert stage, to the smell of chimney cakes, smoked sausages, mulled wine, and more, you’ll be transported to another time and place.
Don’t miss the festive light painting after dark on the facade of Cafe Gerbeaud or the lighting of the Advent candle each Sunday.
Our last overseas destination is the Christmas Market on Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin, Germany. Craft tents, shopping, delicious German food, and the surrounding beautiful architecture all serve to make this market one of our essential stops on this list. This historic square dates back to the 18th century making the views as inspirational as the activities happening there. For just a few euros, grab a souvenir mug and sip hot cider as you stroll through tents featuring candlemakers, glass-blowing artists, embroidery, and more. There are no big box retail offerings here, just local, handmade, and unique gift ideas. Keep an eye out as evening approaches, you may see Christmas angels fluttering about, granting wishes to good little boys and girls.
The United States
One of the best ways to get in the Christmas spirit stateside is at Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland. It is the world’s largest Christmas store, located in Frankenmuth, Michigan. You’ll be transported to a land of candy canes, Christmas trees, snowflakes, and more while you are there. Find the perfect ornament to add to your tree and have it personalized while you wait.
Since 1945, this store has been a must-visit for all things Christmas. It’s fun to visit year round but especially as the holiday season approaches, as the season becomes even more magical. Plus, you can head into downtown Frankenmuth after shopping for all sorts of holiday cheer from lighting displays adorning the Bavarian-style buildings, carriage rides, and gift shops.
Make sure to stop at the Silent Night Memorial Chapel too. On the grounds next to the main store, it is a replica of the original chapel located in Austria at the site of the first singing of “Silent Night” in 1818.
So there you have it. Five of the biggest events on the planet to celebrate the holiday. There are just two more I want to share though just because they’re interesting! Did you know? The award for the longest Christmas celebration goes to the Philippines. As the saying goes, it is “celebrated in the -ber months,” that is, September, October, November, and December. As an elf, I am all in favor of this extended festivity! Make a parol (a traditional lantern) or join in the many groups of Christmas carolers merrily spreading holiday cheer. The Noche Buena feast on Christmas Eve is a sight to behold as entire extended families come together to dine on large spreads of traditional foods.
I can’t stop, I have to mention a Florida event! Take a trip to the big Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade in Ft. Lauderdale. Since 1970, this festive celebration has been a holiday destination for millions of people. On December 10th, vessels of all sizes will be decked with strings of lights and all kinds of decor as they travel the 12-mile parade route.
The biggest Christmas events in the world in your front yard
I just love everything about Christmas. The lights, the music, the magic, and the treats! One of my favorite things to do is visit neighborhood light displays. The crew here at Twinkle Nights is the best of the best at designing and installing epic lighting displays that will be the talk of the town.
Contact them at (844) 820-4613 or HERE to get on their list and make your home shine with all the magic and wonder that the Christmas season brings. Now, I’m sure Santa is missing me so I’ve gotta run. I’ll see you all again soon!
Here are some other resources to help light up your holiday season!